Making Must Gos, Gotta Haves

Before my transformation into a frugal gal one of my biggest money wasters was leftovers or must gos. As a kid I disliked leftovers and vowed that when I had my own home I would never eat them. I realize how silly that sounds now as an adult, but I stuck to my pledge for several years. Each week before my shopping trip I would throw out at least a half a garbage bag full of food from my fridge that had gone bad.

It took me a while, but I finally realized what a complete and total waste of money it is to not eat leftovers. But the problem was that I still didn’t want to eat them. Then I realized that leftovers do not have to be served in their original state, they can be made into something else, something better.

Tonight was must go night at our house. I had a few different opened boxes of pasta, less than half a jar of sauce, some misc veggies, about 1/4 cup sour cream, and about 1/4 cup heavy cream.

I took my veggies and put them in the vita-mix. If you don’t have a high powered blender I would suggest steaming the veggies first.


Then I added the sauce,


I blended the veggies and sauce and then added sour cream and heavy cream.
I put the mixture on the stove and added a little butter, garlic, and parm cheese. I heated the sauce for a few minutes and then added my cooked pasta.


I served the pasta with salad, homemade breadsticks, and green beans.


The kids absolutely loved the meal and were excited to eat different types of pasta mixed together. They liked it so much that I didn’t have any leftovers!

The next time you have a must go night, try something different. Make your leftovers into a soup and serve it in a bread bowl, take your leftover roast and add bbq sauce to make bbq sandwiches, or add your taco meat to a jar of spaghetti sauce.

Eating the food you already have in your home is one of the easiest ways to save money. Making do with what you have will stretch your food dollars and your cooking creativity.

For more frugal tips visit Mary and for more kitchen tips visit Tammy.

For more recipes visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.


  1. You are just so creative! 🙂 I love leftovers.. Even if they are just the same thing reheated…. I am going to email you from now on and ask what you think I should make with the leftovers! lol

  2. I have tried doing similar things. Your supper from last night sounds yummy!

    I did something similar last night too. I made brown rice, brown gravy, then added leftover ground beef from a meatloaf (cut in small pieces). It actually tasted like a stroganoff. Yummy!

  3. We do our best to be creative with leftovers. They usually go for lunches. As we rarely have enough left overs for a dinner.

  4. I am like you…I don’t like to eat leftovers however, I’ll eat and do “leftover makeovers”!

    Looking for other ideas for those leftovers…here is a post that I did a while back on “leftover makeovers”.

  5. I recreate, too! There is so many different things you can do to be creative with leftovers. We turn leftover chicken into chicken salad sandwiches, fajitas, enchiladas, soup, or most anything that requires chicken and same thing with beef/pork. 😀

  6. Great idea, I would have never thought of using carrots that way.

  7. Third time is a charm. I have tried 3 times to comment and something always happens. LOL

    I am guilty of this and am trying to figure out ways to not let things go to waste. Like the saying goes…Waste Not Want Not.

    Thanks for this great post.

    Blessings in Him<
    -Mary @Raising 4 Godly Men

  8. You are not alone, regarding leftovers. My husband used to be a “must go” kind of guy, but he is coming around. Your left over, must have sauce is a great idea. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad that you joined us for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. I hope you will keep coming back with great tips and recipes, like this.

  9. I never would have thought to do that. I must admit that I’m a ‘follow the recipe’ type cook. I don’t think to experiment with foods. Your meal looks good.

  10. I don’t use a lot of leftovers, but I’ve been trying to plan ahead to use some. For instance, if I am making rice pilaf I save the leftovers then I serve it the next night with vegetables lo mein. It tastes like fried rice reheated and gives my oldest daughter something more to eat because she doesn’t care for the lo mein as much as the rest of us.

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